Security forces detain 35 PKK suspects in counterterrorism raids

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Turkish security forces on Friday detained 35 suspects due to their links to the PKK terrorist group in separate operations carried out in several provinces.

In the capital Ankara, 10 suspects were detained on charges of using fake social media accounts to spread the PKK’s propaganda.

In another operation controlled from the western province Izmir, 16 suspects, including members of the PKK’s women’s branch, were detained. The suspects were caught in various provinces, including Izmir, Istanbul, Diyarbakır, Malatya, Şanlıurfa and Kars. Local executives of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were also among the suspected PKK members nabbed in the operations.

During the searches, police teams also found documents and material related to the PKK terrorist group and its Syrian branch, the YPG.

In two other operations, security forces detained four suspects in southern Mersin province and five suspects in western Balıkesir province due to their links to the PKK.

Turkey has stepped up its fight against PKK terrorists with security forces carrying out counterterrorism raids and operations to clear its country of terrorists and hold terrorist supporters accountable.

Turkish security forces also regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.

The forces have adopted “ending terrorism at its root” and “attack rather than defense” strategies for operations across the country.

Turkey has dealt a serious blow to the PKK in the past several years, as successful counterterrorism operations have significantly limited recruitment and other activities by the terrorist group, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Thursday.

Soylu noted that the total number of terrorist acts has fallen to 287 from 2,817 in the past five years, while the number of terrorists in the country has fallen to 320 from 2,780 since 2016. Turkish security forces carried out over 102,000 security operations, including 76 large-scale, 307 mid-scale, 99,000 operations in the rural areas and 2,900 in urban areas in 2020 alone, Soylu said, eliminating a total of 224 PKK terrorists.

In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including children and infants.

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